A survey of Duke of Burgundy (DoB) Butterfly was carried out on Salisbury Plain Military Training Area (SPTA) SSSI in 2015. DoB is a priority Species in the UK biodiversity Action Plan. It is estimated to have declined by 50% in recent decades. SPTA SSSI, which contains the largest area of unimproved calcareous grassland in Europe, is known to be one of the remaining strongholds of DoB in the UK, and as such, DoB is an individually notified feature of SPTA SSSI.
Phase I of the survey consisted of sampling surveys for adults, in the form of timed counts. Documented historical records of the adult butterfly, along with data from two studies which concentrated on searches for larval damage, were used to target sites and areas where the butterfly had been recorded previously. The aim was to survey at least 20 1 km squares (sites). Within each square, suitable habitat was surveyed for adult DoB. Surveys took place in the second half of May.
The second phase consisted of sampling surveys for the characteristic feeding signs (holes) made by the larvae of DoB in Cowslip leaves.
This project went well. It has provided new information about Duke of Burgundy butterfly on Salisbury Plain.